ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Duke had no answer for Williams early, Arizona as a whole late

Mar 25, 2011, 4:24 AM | Updated: 4:55 am

Duke had just scored 44 points and was heading to the locker room with a six-point lead over Arizona in the Sweet 16 on Thursday evening.

CBS sideline reporter Leslie Visser caught up with Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski as he headed for the tunnel.

First, Coach K did not have the look of a coach with a lead at the half.

Second, Visser asked about his star player, Kyle Singler, and his overall thoughts on the first half.

Here is what Krzyzewski had to say.

“Derrick’s been fantastic. Phenomenal. … He’s playing great. He’s been fantastic.”

Wow. She didn’t mention Pac-10 Player of the Year Derrick Williams in her question but he was clearly on Coack K’s mind. And with good reason to be.

Yes, Williams had just hit five 3-pointers (including this one just as the half was ending) and scored 25 of Arizona’s points.

It felt during that brief interview Krzyzewski felt lucky to be up six and knew his team wasn’t going to be able to put up another 44 points in the second half.

The second half came and Duke had no answers.

Arizona fed off Williams’ first half and built their own confidence on the way to a 93-77 victory over the defending National Champs.

Williams finished with seven points in the second half — 32 points, 13 rebounds for the game. He didn’t have to carry the team down the stretch.

The Wildcats felt like the basket was the Pacific Ocean rather than a gym in Anaheim. They outscored Duke 55-33 in the second half.

And with that, Arizona plays UConn on Saturday evening at 4:05 p.m. for a chance to go to the Final Four.

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Duke had no answer for Williams early, Arizona as a whole late